Aaron Skerritt is our director of operations in Suffolk and has had a varied career working in kitchens in Suffolk and London, including the prestigious Garrick Club. Aaron’s Suffolk Lobster Benedict Royale summer special was a huge hit with our customers last year. It’s featured in the Breakfast Club cookbook, which showcases a wide range of independent businesses across the UK, from cosy cafes to chic restaurants who have each shared their signature recipe. We bring this recipe back when it’s in season and for special occasions such as Mother’s Day and Easter. You can purchase the cookbook here.
Aaron shares his tips for buying lobster: “We buy our lobsters from James Hunt fisheries in Felixstowe. They’re local and the best quality. When buying lobster, pick one that smells sea fresh and curls its tail back under its body when stretched. Ensure the claws are bound or you could get a very nasty nip!”.
Suffolk Lobster Benedict royale
Preparation time: 45 mins | Cooking time 10-15 minutes | Serves 2
For the lobster:
1 whole lobster, approx 500g or 400g prepared lobster meat
1 banana shallot, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
Sprig of thyme
10 fennel seeds
For the hollandaise:
150g unsalted butter
2 free range egg yolks
1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar
1 lemon halved
Sea salt & black pepper
For the poached eggs
2 fresh free-range eggs
Splash of white wine vinegar
4 slices of toasted sourdough
Handful of wilted spinach
Fresh chives or dill
Caviar to taste
For the lobster:
The kindest way to dispatch a live lobster is to use a sturdy, sharp knife and push the tip firmly and quickly through the centre of the cross on its head, making sure the cutting side of the blade is directed towards the tail. Fill a large pan with water and fully submerge. Add the remaining ingredients, cook for about 6-7 minutes, then leave to cool naturally so it retains all the wonderful flavours. You can add a small amount of ice to speed this up or place it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Once cooled, pull off and crack the claws and then remove the luscious white meat. Pull off the tail and peel as if it were a large prawn.
If using prepared lobster, heat the meat gently in a pan with a knob of butter until just hot.
For the hollandaise:
Half-fill a pan with water and bring to a low simmer with a mixing bowl sitting on top but not touching the water. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat, then take it off the heat and let the buttermilk separate. Place the egg yolks in the mixing bowl and keep the water simmering on a low heat. Start to whisk the yolks and then whisk in the vinegar. Keep whisking and slowly drizzle the melted butter in until fully incorporated. The result should be a smooth, thick sauce. Season your hollandaise carefully with fresh lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper to taste.
For the poached eggs:
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then lower the heat so the water is just bubbling. Add some white wine vinegar. Crack your eggs into small, individual cups and use a spoon to stir the water in a large circular motion to create a whirlpool. Once it’s really moving, add the eggs. The motion of the water will wrap the egg white around itself to the egg stays together as it cooks. Cook the eggs for 2.5-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Season with salt and pepper, then serve immediately.
Plate the toasted sourdough with the wilted spinach. Warm the lobster with a small knob of butter until just hot. Place on top of the spinach, add your perfectly poached eggs, a good covering of Hollandaise, fresh herbs, a spoonful of caviar and then it is ready to serve. Pair with Adnams Prosecco to make this the perfect indulgent brunch on Valentine’s Day.